Monday, December 20, 2010

Never dieting again?

Someone mentioned recently “dieting without dieting” in relationship to the band. One of the upsides of being banded, is never having to diet again? Depends on you define “dieting”?

For me, I will always need to be mindful of what I’m eating. Sometimes that’s just a series of judgement calls as I go through the day. Other times, I find it helpful to write down what I’m doing. That is monitoring my food intake, and technically dieting.

One of the main things that’s different for me this banded time around, is that I eat whatever I want. That’s technically not dieting. Huh? Here’s my clarification: I used to eat anything- I loved good tasting food (obviously) but I rarely arrived at whatever satisfaction I was attempting to feed. Now my food choices are only what I REALLY, REALLY want, and only a little bit. And, I have new found enjoyment of food that I did not have pre-band.

The parade of Christmas parties has helped me to see how this works in my life. Everywhere we went, I took roughly a tablespoonful, or a 2x2 square, or quartered serving, of everything that looked REALLY good to me (not just kinda good, or took a serving simply because it was there). I then ate only a little bit of what made it to my plate. And if a food didn’t taste as good as I expected, I did not eat it.

Ideally, I would have stopped when I was full… but we all know how to ease around restriction if we really want to- and I wanted to! Where my band was helpful in my holiday eating, is that I’m not hungry all day long (THANK YOU FILL LAST THURSDAY!!!), so when I choose to ease around my band, calorie wise- I’m good for the day. I do not choose to do this often, only on special occasions.

I used to think that my band was really a diet enhancement tool, a competitive edge, if you will. And maybe that’s what it is. But it’s stopped the “crazy” dieting for me. With restriction and lack of the majority of my hunger, I have a sense of control that helps me to enjoy food, as I truly believe we were meant to. With that control, I don’t feel guilty because I do not want to eat diet foods and I do want to eat delicious (no more naughty!) real food.

Here’s what I’m eating today (and I did count the calories):
Raisin, date &walnut oatmeal, ham & cheese omelette drowned in salsa verde, wheat thins, cottage cheese, two tangerines, ½ ham & swiss cheese sandwich, chocolate covered pretzels, frosen tortilla casserole. This is 1600 calories, which feels (and looks) like a feast of food. Since I’m now practically living at work, I packed my entire days worth of food, so I was able to count all the calories.

I don’t feel the need to go below 1600 calories to lose weight. In my first year out, I did eat only around 1400 per day. When I’m maintaining ~170 lbs, I eat between 1900-2300+ per day (I’m more active than I let on, don’t let my lack of formal exercise fool you). Anyway, my point is, I don’t think everyone needs to starve to lose weight. Only you know your body, and I know learning to listen to mine is really a new adventure.


  1. I agree 100%! Thanks for putting this into words!

  2. You rock...and I miss you. That is all.

  3. You and I are like band sisters...
    I feel the same about really enjoying food and not bothering with something that isn't REALLY wonderful.

  4. I think I eat about 1500-1600 (when I've counted), and I cannot lose on that amount. I maintain, but can't lose. Sucks.

    But your philosophy and practice with the band is awesome, the way its supposed to be! Excellent.

  5. It is all semantics in the end, but I'm one who chooses not to look at what I'm doing as a 'diet.'
    But I am always aware of what is going on.. you're giving me a great idea for a post about mindfulness, but I have no time to do it!
    have a great day!!